Tribute to Te Iria Mārama Whiu
Te Iria Mārama Whiu
Nō Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi ngā iwi, ko te hapu ko Ngāti He
I te wā e ora ana tēnei kuia, he wahine pukumahi, he wahine kamakama, he wahine toa, he wahine tohetohe, he wahine kaingākau, ki te ao kai-ako, ara te ako tamariki,
He wahine tōmua ki ngā mahi i te uniana NZEI Te Riu Roa.
NZEI Te Riu Roa members from around Aotearoa are paying tribute to Te Iria Whiu, a former National President who passed away on Saturday at Te Kāhui Whetū, the Maori Annual Meeting of NZEI Te Riu Roa, in Rūātoki.
Te Iria Whiu was an outstanding and inspirational educator who had a long and committed career strongly focussed on promoting the welfare of all tamariki. While her passing at the hui was a great shock, it was also fitting a place for her final words. Iria was tireless in pursuing education outcomes for mokopuna Māori.
Among her many achievements in a lifetime dedicated to service was her election as the first Māori President of NZEI Te Riu Roa in 1995. She filled this role with dignity, mana, ihi and wehi. Her work was strongly underpinned by a commitment to quality public education. She was made a Fellow of NZEI Te Riu Roa in 1997.
Iria worked tirelessly to promote the welfare of all NZEI Te Riu Roa members and in particular devoted her energies to developing the Maori-medium Curriculum.
She represented NZEI Te Riu Roa at education forums in the Pacific and in 1994 was elected to the Asian and Southern Pacific Regional Executive of Education International, and also represented NZEI Te Riu Roa at the EI World Congress in 1995. Following her retirement, she continued to mentor teachers and principals in kura kaupapa Maori, and developed Maori medium educational resources as well as moving into specialist advisory roles in the iwi/tribal education sectors.
Iria was a member of the board of Te Matahauariki o Tauranga Moana Inc from 1999 to 2011, which helped to establish the first Wharekura for Tauranga Moana as Chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees.
She was the Deputy Chair of the Runanga nui o Tauranga Moana from 2005 to 2007, which was responsible for the return of Mauao in 2007.
Other roles included being a trustee of the Mauao Trust and Kia Ata Mai Educational Trust, which has a role in the development of literacy and Te Reo Maori resources along with working as a member of the Hairini Marae committee and Hairini Marae women’s committee chairperson.
In 2014 she received the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to Māori and education.
Te Iria leaves behind an enormous legacy and will be deeply missed by friends, colleagues and whānau at NZEI Te Riu Roa.
He māmai aroha ki a koe te Māreikura, hoki atu ra ki ō pae maunga, tō moana a Tauranga
Haere atu ki to tātou Kaihanga, ki te karanga o Hine-nui-te-pō
No reira, haere, haere, haere atu rā